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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Ive been with my fiance for nearly two years. Im 30 and he

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I've been with my fiance for nearly two years. I'm 30 and he is 34. He is a good man, treats me so well, and I love him BUT, he has issues with employment. When we met he was on unemployment. As our relationship developed he got a job as a cook in a restaurant and moved in with me. But, he lost that job. He was told that it was due to his attitude was bad and that he was rude to customers. I have a career-track job, a masters degree, and am working on my next degree, but I have debt that I am trying to eradicate. I cannot afford, nor do I want, to support him. So, at that time, I asked him to leave my house and we broke up.

He promptly landed a good job and started working. After a few months we began dating again and after a few more months he moved back into my place. He asked me to marry him, and I agreed. I do love him very much. Then, he lost that job. This time, it was because the restaurant closed. He lived on unemployment and made no effort to find a job for several weeks and it was only when I inquired about how long his unemployment checks would come that he admitted he only had one more week left. I was furious and told him to get looking for a job. He found two jobs, both working as cooks in restaurants. He began working what for him was a grueling schedule, but what was a normal one for me. After about three weeks, he quit one of the jobs because he didn't like and because -as he told me- he was being considered for promotion and more hours at the other job.

This last week, he called in sick for three days due to back pain. I know he was in pain, but I regularly go to work when I don't feel good; the economy is just too bad to give your employer any reason to think you are expendable. So, I didn't understand this behavior and I told him. But, he reassured me that his work understood. He left for work today and came home about thirty minutes later. He told me he has been fired because the owner of the restaurant has received a lot of complaints about his rude behavior to waitstaff and customers. He was told he creates a hostile work environment.

I know he was looking for support from me, but I just don't have it to give. My job is extremely stressful and I needed a day just to chill out. Instead, I'm sitting here freaking out about how we are going to make ends meet. . .AGAIN. He told me not to worry, that he would "figure it out" but I don't know how he plans to do that without a job. And, I'm usually the one who figures this stuff out, not him. . .So, yeah, I feel super pressured. I work a 50+ hours a week job as a teacher and hold down a second job on the weekend. I was hoping to give up that second job, but I guess not. I told him this and he just crumpled and cried. I get it, I so get it, but I'm just flabbergasted.

I love this man so much, but I am terrified. I want to marry him, but am very scared that this pattern will repeat itself over and over again. I want a partner who can hold down a job.
I agree with you. Unless he has plans of becoming a business partner or an enterpenuer, which I do not see based on what you wrote then he should get a job and be able to hold it down. Seems like he has a pattern of not enjoying to work and due to this taking it out on the customers. Work is very important in order to make a living, so he needs to see this. Maybe he had a comfortable life growing up and thinks things in life come easy. I do not know, but whatever the reason for this behavior he needs to change for himself because whether he has you or not he needs to be able to support himself and you if you stay. I agree with you if he is working 40 hrs and thinks that is a grueling schedule because that is regular hours. Maybe you can sit down and talk to him again and try and help him. Try to get to the bottom of why he has this pattern that way it can be fixed. Does he not like to work, Is it because he does not like taking orders from others, Does he not enjoy the type of work....Maybe if some of these questions are answered it will help him. For example if he does not like working for someone else maybe he should take advantage of his time in between jobs in order to look into some business ideas he may enjoy, so he can be his own boss. If not maybe there is a job he will enjoy doing. Try to encourage him to find his likes and dislikes, so he can do something that he likes versus not or maybe even going to school as well to get a better job or more enjoyable job. However, he needs to be motivated and see the importance. I am not at all telling you to leave him in any way. However, if what I mentioned does not work then maybe if you did leave for a little or gave him an ultimatum then that will give him a wake up call. Maybe if he sees he "HAS" to work to live and eat he will then have no other choice. Usually when people are in comfortable situations it is easy for them to be "lazy" or do what ever they feel, but when someone "HAS" to cause has no choice they usually look and handle things a whole lot different. However, if none of this works and he does not change I would suggest counseling for him and you would need to decide if you would want to continue with the marriage knowing this. I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if you need any clarification and I wish you all the best!
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. What you wrote was really my initial gut response to all of this. But, being able to have someone confirm -without sharing such intimate details with mutual friends of ours- is great. Thanks!
No problem! Glad I could be of help.

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